"There's nothing to match game viewing on foot!" Crater Lake Things to Do Tip by CatherineReichardt
Crater Lake Things to Do: 7 reviews and 7 photos
Game viewing by vehicle is wonderful, but if you have a chance, it pales into insignificance compared to the delights of game viewing on foot.
In a vehicle, you are distanced from the environment by metal and glass, whereas once you walk in the bush, you're part of it, and have a chance to appreciate its intricacies. This may be as humble as watching scarab beetles rollling perfectly spherical balls of dung (see other photo), or, at the other end of the scale, as aweinspiring as being able to get exceptionally close to Africa's largest antelope, the eland.
We have eland in South Africa, but they are notoriously shy, and usually rather difficult to spot as they prefer to lurk in thickets in small family groups. It was therefore an absolute treat to see eland in much larger numbers and much closer up than we're used to - both at Crater Lake and at Hell's Gate.
Eland are beautiful animals, with their large eloquent eyes and distinctive dewlap. They are really large, heavyset animals - as large or larger than a full grown bull and weighing up to 900kg. Surprisingly, they are able to jump extraordinarily well and can clear over 3m from a standing start, which is an extraordinary feat of athleticism given their weight.
It's astounding to think that these are 'only' common eland - the rarer Giant (or Lord Derby's) Eland found in Central Africa is even bigger!
For those who are concerned about safety whilst walking in the bush, this reserve doesn't have many large predators (mostly hyaena and leopards which tend to be shy and solitary) and you are accompanied by a game ranger. Interestingly enough, he wasn't armed with anything more lethal than a short cane!
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